[ISEA2023] Artist Talk: Lark Spartin — Repurposing Social Media Platforms for Creative Expression

Artist Statement

Theme: Social Experiences Subtheme Symbiotic Imaginaries

Keywords: Augmented reality, Social media, Digital media art, Digital relationality

In this artist talk, I present my own artwork that exploits and subverts social media to make a comment on its commodifying and disembodying effects. Through inverting typical uses, the under-utilized artistic and relational potential of these platforms can be capitalized upon, and social media platforms can be repurposed for creative expression.

Digital media have shaped the way that we collectively relate to ourselves, to others and our world. Social media has grown to be a leading form of contemporary communication, and the personas that we present on these platforms have become a significant form of personal expression. In our use of social media, the users are the product, and these platforms exploit our use daily. The business models of Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Google, etc. rely on directly commodifying our interpersonal relations. Although social media have become integrated into the fabric of our daily lives, the creative and connective potential of the platforms are under-utilized. Moreover, many do not realize their important role in shaping networks and how they can subvert the power structures that exist therein.

Within this artist talk, I present a series of my digital media artworks that point to the constructedness of the technology used to create it. Throughout my own practice, I intend to exploit digital media and social media platforms to make a comment on their commodifying and disembodying effects. Through subverting typical uses, and inverting the social context and content of these platforms, my artwork draws the viewer to reconsider their use of the technology and new ways of interaction can be explored. With this understanding, we can repurpose social media platforms for creative self-expression that benefits society.

  • Lark Spartin (CA) is a digital media artist specializing in augmented reality (AR) and video art. Her work inverts the typical use of AR and confronts the disembodiment embedded within social media platforms. By exploiting technology that filters how we relate to our world, her work emphasizes the creative and relational potential of the tools we use daily. https://lasstudio.myportfolio.com